Townhouses approved for Wheeling's Prairie Park development

  • Six townhouse buildings will be added to the Prairie Park complex in Wheeling. The townhouses will replace a previous plan to build a fifth condominium building at the development.

    Six townhouse buildings will be added to the Prairie Park complex in Wheeling. The townhouses will replace a previous plan to build a fifth condominium building at the development. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 10/6/2021 12:53 PM

Wheeling's Prairie Park condominium complex will get a little architectural variety under a plan approved by the village board this week.

Six townhouse buildings containing 18 units will be added to the complex, which is west of Milwaukee Avenue off Wolf Road.

 

Prairie Park has four condominium buildings. A fifth building was promised by developers with Smith Family Development, but it never was constructed.

The townhouses will go up in its place.

"It was always our goal to develop that pad," developer Jamie Smith told the village board Monday. "I'm sure the village wants tax dollars on it."

With a 5-0 vote Monday, the board agreed to amend Prairie Park's existing development plan to include the proposed townhouses. Trustees Joe Vito and Dave Vogel were absent.

Approval came with several conditions. Among them: a stormwater detention basin must be completed on the northeast side of the property; an outstanding debt to ComEd totaling more than $5,500 as of Aug. 31 must be paid by Friday; and a trailer that has served as a leasing office must be cleaned up and inspected. Additionally, that trailer eventually must be removed.

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Trustee Mary Krueger was especially insistent when it came to the water detention basin, noting Prairie Park's proximity to the Des Plaines River and a diversionary channel. Both are flood hazards.

"The sooner that we can see that thing built, the better," Krueger said.

As for the trailer, Smith said it will be cleaned and made ready for potential customers. It will be removed once a model townhouse is built, he said.

Village President Pat Horcher cautioned Smith and his team before he cast his vote on the plan.

"Follow the rules, guys," Horcher said.

Smith Family Development's Mark Smith unsuccessfully challenged Horcher for Wheeling's presidency earlier this year.

Horcher's comment wasn't the only zinger expressed during the various discussions of the townhouse project.

During a public meeting last month, Smith Family Development attorney Dan Shapiro accused the plan commission, which advises the village board on development issues, of showing "animosity" toward his team. After being confronted about the remark by Trustee Jim Ruffatto on Monday, Shapiro apologized.

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